Just got this from Mayor Art Ward:
In a prepared release, Mayor Arthur J. Ward addressed the need for further cuts to the 2008 – 2009 City budget.
“The budget process is always a challenge and this coming year is no exception. Additional budget cuts are going to be necessary for Fiscal Year 2008-2009”, said Mayor Ward. With the downturn in the economy, prices rising in every sector of business and many Connecticut cities struggling to stay afloat, Mayor Ward is going back to the Department heads for another round of cuts. In a memo to City Department Heads, the Mayor stated, “Because you know what is truly needed to run your departments, I need your recommendations for cuts. Therefore, please provide to me your written recommendations for budget reductions by line item for your department no later than Monday, May 5, 2008. Please bear in mind that if you do not recommend meaningful reductions, reductions may be made for your department without your input.”
Ward went on to say, “I am also directing each of you to review spending for the remainder of this budget year. Every expense should be evaluated and prioritized, including the need for overtime. I recognize that some labor contracts require certain staffing levels, and that we must provide essential services. However, overtime, unless contractually obligated or for emergency operations, will require written justification to my office.”
Ward informed the Department heads that effective immediately, all requests to fill positions are on hold pending his review of the position being requested. Additionally, no new positions and no upgrades will be considered until further notice. In addition, all staff conferences, seminars out-of state travel requiring any expenditure (even if it has been previously approved and funded) must be cancelled if refundable.
In a move to keep spending at a minimum, the Mayor has called for anticipated over-expenditures in this fiscal year’s budget must be immediately communicated to my office and the Board of Finance prior to any overspending.
In conclusion, Mayor Ward said, “Throughout the year, but particularly during the budget process, we, as public employees, are under increased scrutiny. We must all continue to be diligent and professional as we are observed by the public and while we interact with the public; it is critical to the City’s image.
All of us need to make a concerted effort to improve the City’s financial position. I’m optimistic that our efforts now will positively impact our future. “
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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